California seeks public's help to find those missing in mudslides

The National Weather Service sent out four wireless emergency alerts in various areas of Santa Barbara County between 2:30 a.m. and noon on Tuesday, spokeswoman Susan Buchanan said.

Drones, military vehicles and search dogs have been brought in to help with rescue and clean-up efforts.

The death toll early Thursday rose to 17 people, ranging in age from 3 to 89, and another 8 were still missing around the town of Montecito where hundreds of people are still surrounded by more than a foot of mud. First came the fires, and the Thomas Fire last month in this area west of Los Angeles was the biggest ever recorded in the state. A huge police presence keeps out both residents and looters.

The freeway "will remain closed until we can deal with water flowing from sheared fire hydrants and until we can ascertain the integrity of that roadway", McElroy said.

U.S. Highway 101 at the Olive Mill Road overpass is flooded with runoff water from Montecito Creek in Montecito. Eight commercial properties were destroyed and 20 damaged.

Josie Gower was a mother of two, a grandmother and a retired nurse, her family said. Company spokeswoman Erin Lammers said Riskin was a ballerina with the American Ballet Theater in NY before an injury cut short her dancing career. Best to give workers a chance to clear the roads up, she said.

Hello, my name is John Witiw, and you may remember me as a writer for Viral Pirate, Frontrunner Magazine, or even NTD Television, but now I'm here. "The mud and the debris is hindering progress, it's just slow going out there".

"At this moment, we are still looking for live victims".

"This isn't an exact science in terms of actually defining where something is going to happen", Brown said. "You have to start accepting the reality of that".


"I really can't believe it", she captioned the picture. He died with his wife of more than 50 years, Alice. Lauren's 16-year-old brother, Jack, is missing.

The coroner's office said their cause of death will be listed as "multiple traumatic injuries due to flash flood with mudslides due to recent wildfires".

Sheriff Bill Brown cautioned Thursday that many or most of those unaccounted for may simply have been unreachable to the family and friends who reported them missing.

Cindy Pontes of the California Highway Patrol in Santa Barbara said she flew over the 101 in a helicopter on Friday, and nearly a mile of it was under water so deep that the center divider was not visible.

The damage above Montecito isn't absolute. Other streets became rivers as the mud filled homes, blasted cars from garages, tore down trees and tumbled boulders like Legos. "I don't know how I got lulled". In one upscale neighborhood, firefighters warned each other of below-ground pools, which have turned into watery traps for the unwary. "I would have preferred for them to leave and in hindsight we should have left".

The area northwest of Los Angeles is home to celebrities such as Rob Lowe, Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey. The vast majority of those homes were in areas already designated by authorities as under mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders.

"Had we not gone over there, I don't think that kid would have [survived]", he added. At least two unrecognizably mangled cars were carried like driftwood all the way to the beach, where they were partly covered in seaweed. "What would we have done with the animals?"

Numerous same rescuers who fought the Thomas fire in Santa Barbara County are now frantically combing the area for survivors of the mudslide. Then the mudslide hit. She also assured that she feels "safe" despite the circumstances.

"We've got a window that's closing, but we're still very optimistic".

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